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Tuesday, July 08, 2003


From Arutz Sheva:
It took about 15 hours, but the police finally determined with certainty this morning that the explosion last night in the Netanya-Kfar Saba region that killed Mazal Afari, 65, mother of eight children, was a terrorist attack. She was buried this afternoon in the Tel Mond regional cemetery.

The explosion shook Moshav Kfar Ya'vetz, founded by the HaPoel HaMizrachi movement some 70 years ago, and residents ran out to see what had happened. The first thought was that a gas explosion had occurred, and when Mazal's body and that of an unidentified male were discovered, inquiries were made as to whether he was a member of the moshav. When no one answering his description was reported missing, and when the home's gas canisters were found intact, the police began to believe that this was in fact a terrorist attack.

As the investigation continued later into the night, police reported finding an explosives detonator, and late this morning announced for certain that the second body was that of the terrorist murderer. They cannot yet explain how or why he entered the house, but assume that for some reason the bomb exploded prematurely. Three of Mazal's grandchildren who were in the house at the time were lightly hurt, as was a neighbor.

Mazal's husband Moshe and son were at evening prayers when the explosion occurred. They ran back to the house and saw that the southern part of the house had largely collapsed, and could do nothing but help in the efforts to extricate the body of their wife/mother. The family is one of the most well-known and respected families in the moshav. Mazal worked with the elderly and was described as a "genuinely righteous woman, and her widower Moshe served in the past as head of the Lev HaSharon Regional Council. A resident of Kfar Yavetz was murdered in his greenhouses by an Arab terrorist 12 years ago.

Elements in Islamic Jihad took responsibility for last night's murder - even naming the terrorist - and said that attacks would continue, despite the hudna (temporary ceasefire), until all the Palestinian terrorists are released. Islamic Jihad leaders at first denied that they were connected with the attack, but later acknowledged that it was the work of Islamic Jihad terrorists. Senior Jihad figure Muhmad Al-Hindi said that the attack was an "exception," and that the hudna would continue.

In the past four weeks, seven people have been murdered in seven separate Palestinian terrorist attacks - in addition to two IDF soldiers killed in two separate incidents. All in all, Palestinian terrorists have murdered 33 Israelis since Israel adopted the Road Map plan just over a month ago.

For the second day in a row, a sudden burst of gunfire was directed at workers on the partition wall near Kalkilye. Near Jenin, fire was opened at two Israeli vehicles. No one was hurt in these incidents.